Dhananjay Munde,estranged nephew of deputy leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde,Tuesday resigned as member of legislative council (MLC),and formally quit BJP to join NCP.
Although Dhananjay distanced himself from BJP more than a year ago, he continued to hold the MLC seat. The timing of Dhananjays resignation is being seen as a calculated strategy by NCP to corner Gopinath Munde,who is already facing heat following the recent Election Commission notice regarding the Rs 8-crore spend in Beed for the 2009 election.
Dhananjay said,My commitment to the NCP is unwavering. I am ready to take up any assignment given to me by Ajit Pawar.
However,Dhananjay refrained from commenting on poll expenditure by Gopinath Munde.
He said,In 2009,I was in the BJP as a worker.
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Sources say the move has been orchestrated by Deputy CM Ajit Pawar,who,late Monday night,held a core committee meeting to discuss how to exploit the family differences and pit Dhananjay against his uncle.
State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis sent a strong message to NCP. The deputy CMs ploy will not help NCP reap any electoral benefit. It will only be detrimental to the NCP. Dhananjays resignation does not make any difference to BJP.
Dhananjay cannot match Gopinath Mundes stature. Gopinath Munde is deeply revered in his constituency, Fadnavis added.
BJP believes Mundes daughter Pankaja Munde-Palve,an MLA herself,has worked hard to ensure that the party retains all the panchayats.